DALLAS — Coming from a foreign country to teach students the value of non-violence and self esteem, it’s no question what the attributes are that make Elias Palmitano our Class Act of the Week.
Elias and his family moved to Dallas three years ago from Argentina. His missionary parents were asked to come set up their “No More Violence” program they had started back in Argentina.
Now a senior at Bryan Adams High, Elias has started his own No More Violence club at the school.
“We gather every Tuesday after school, and we just learn about self-esteem we learn about identity, we learn about communication, how to say no to peer pressure and just stuff like that to kind of think deeply into who we are and what’s our purpose here in life and how do we want to live life,” said Elias.
“Do we want to live in a positive way or a negative way? Cause there’s so many students that they feel lonely and they feel that they’re useless and just trying to make them understand that they’re unique.”
He would know best, since finding that truth has been a personal struggle in his own life.
“Since I was a kid, I was always bullied. I was a guy with very low self-esteem,” Elias recounted. “After experiencing all those things that made me actually stronger and learning these values of 'No More Violence,' now I’m able to stand up for myself. Instead of fighting back, just being, 'Hey, why are you doing this, what’s your purpose? Can we talk about this?’ And I’m able to strongly defend myself in a way that’s not going to harm the other person. And I could say I’m proud of that.”
Proud with good reason! He’s not only made himself better, he’s come thousands of miles here to spread a little wisdom and self-esteem to all of us.
Know of a Class Act at your school? Let us know about them!